The future of archive film stores in the global south

Harrison King, Elli Nikolaidou, David Coley, David Walsh

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Archive film stores aim to preserve the cultural heritage of countries by protecting their photographic record from degrading. This is however challenging for many countries in the global south due to the construction and running costs of suitable, low-temperature facilities. Additional complications arise from aggressive climates, intermittent electricity grids and the need to minimise carbon emissions. Given the lack of relevant studies, this paper examines the engineering of film stores in the global south, in order to identify solutions that can help maintain the required internal conditions, deal with power outages and minimise energy use (and therefore operational cost and carbon). The insulating concrete form and phase change material option was found to be more resilient than thermal mass in all three locations, as it maintained lower temperatures after 2.5 days without power, with the largest difference being observed in Sri Lanka (2 °C). It also led to a lower annual energy use, with the largest difference being again detected in Sri Lanka (32 kWh·m−2). The high renewable energy production of the store resulted in a negative annual net energy in Mongolia and Yemen (around −155 kWh·m−2 and −190 kWh·m−2, respectively). However, this was not possible in Sri Lanka because of its hot and humid climate, which triggered a high annual energy use (around 400 kWh·m−2).
Original languageEnglish
Article number110952
Number of pages20
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Early online date26 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021


  • Film stores
  • Passivhaus
  • Net zero carbon
  • Energy autonomy
  • Resilience


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